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Fantasy Author's Publishing Campaign Is Now the Highest-Funded Kickstarter Ever

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  • Brandon Sanderson's publishing campaign is now the highest-funded project in Kickstarter history.
  • The campaign has secured more than $20.8 million from 84,600 backers in just three days.
  • The previous record holder was a smartwatch that generated $20.3 million in funds back in 2015.
  • The Kickstarter project offers backers four new novels as well as monthly subscription boxes of items related to Sanderson's work.

Prolific fantasy writer Brandon Sanderson's publishing campaign is now the most funded project in Kickstarter's history.

Sanderson, who initially sought $1 million to self-publish four novels he wrote during the pandemic, has secured more than $20.8 million from 84,600 backers in just three days. The previous record holder was a smartwatch that generated $20.3 million in funds back in 2015.

There are 27 more days to go until Sanderson's campaign ends.

"Everyone, I'm supposed to write fantasy worlds — not live in them," Sanderson wrote to backers in a Kickstarter updated Friday.

Sanderson is best known for creating the Cosmere fictional universe, in which most of his novels are set. This includes the "Mistborn" series and "The Stormlight Archive." He also helped finish the final three novels in Robert Jordan's "The Wheel of Time" book series, which was recently turned into television series by Amazon.

The Kickstarter offers backers four new novels, three of which are set in Cosmere, as digital e-books, audio books or physical copies based on their donation level. People who spend over a certain threshold will also receive eight monthly subscription boxes of items related to Sanderson's work.

As the owner of a small book company named Dragonsteel Entertainment, Sanderson used the crowdfunding site as a way to drum up enough funds to meet demand and so that he could offer a yearlong subscription box service.

Part of the intrigue of this Kickstarter campaign is that Sanderson has revealed very little about the plot of the four novels. He has managed to foster enough clout in the industry from his previous works that backers don't seem worried about the quality of the products they will receive. In fact, this secrecy seems to be part of the appeal.

"Who would have thought that a group of quirky stories could rival — then topple — technological innovations and beloved game projects," Sanderson wrote. "I'm floored. And you did this all without even knowing what you were getting, save that I promised you it was awesome."

Correction: Brandon Sanderson's book company is Dragonsteel Entertainment. A previous version of this story misspelled the name.

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